Brisbane’s sweltering heat and a chance of storms weren’t enough to keep thousands of people from filling Suncorp Stadium for Coldplay’s first Australian show of their A Head Full Of Dreams tour, on Tuesday.
Upon entering we were given electronic wristbands, with instructions to pull the tab on the back before the show started. We took our seats and after a little wait the lights dimmed and a message about uniting people as one was broadcast across the speakers. The band emerged to a thunderous cheer, as our wristbands all lit up red. It was at this point that I realised just how many people were filling the stadium, as every red light represented a person. The band’s attempts to make people feel united together was definitely working on me. Making an impact right off the bat, frontman Chris Martin showed off his infectious energy during the opening song, running along the catwalk that extended in front of the stage as rainbow confetti and fireworks were shot into the sky.
The second song was the band’s hit single Yellow, which saw the lights on our wristbands light up, yep, you guessed it, green! No, obviously they were yellow, it was all yellow. This theme of the colours changing for each song continued with Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, which illuminated the crowd purple, as the confetti and fireworks made their return. The focus on sight, as well as sound, really added an extra level to Coldplay’s set, allowing the band to play with the idea of juxtaposing darkness with light. For The Scientist there were no lights from the crowd, as everyone sung along with Martin’s haunting vocals.
The band showcased their musical ability throughout the show, switching instruments and positions, as well as singing gorgeous harmonies. The layout of the stage allowed for a diversity, including a guitar duel on the runway, and performances on a smaller stage. Before playing Evergold on this smaller stage, Martin spoke about the presidential election, saying that the audience should send out positive feelings to people in the world.
Coldplay consistently delivered hit after hit, each with its own unique light show and wristband colour. Particularly beautiful was the band’s rendition of Fix You, which began with Martin on his back on the catwalk, with a single light illuminating him as the crowd remained dark. The voices of thousands of people sung the words in unity, and I found myself moved, as if I too was going through the struggle of wanting to help someone who couldn’t be helped. It was a truly beautiful performance.
Keeping the audience on their toes, the band launched into a cover of David Bowie’s We Can Be Heroes, which they dedicated to all of the musicians who had passed away this year, before showing their true stadium rock side on Viva La Vida. Just when I thought I’d seen everything, giant balloons were released into the crowd, and the band headed to ANOTHER stage.
Here Martin showed a cheeky side of himself, introducing the other band members with allegations like drummer Will Champion was nearly chosen as a Wiggle. On this stage the band played a selection of softer songs, Don’t Panic and Til Kingdom Come, before heading back to the main stage for their final numbers.
The band closed with Up&Up from their latest album A Head Full Of Dreams, which saw an explosion of rainbow fireworks complete the show, before the band linked arms and bowed, leaving two flags on the stage behind them – one the Australian flag, and the other which simply stated ‘love’.
It’s safe to say that no one puts on a stadium show like Coldplay. With fireworks, confetti, and individual lights for each audience member, as well as the synchronicity within the band itself, it really was the perfect beginning to the Australian leg of the A Head Full Of Dreams tour.
Coldplay’s Australian tour continues this week. Catch dates and details here.
Coldplay – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 2016 / Photographed by Rebecca Reid